Shattered Moon

On the run

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Aturn‘s ship was sailing through calm endless sea though the crew was far from calm. Especially Vestur, who was not only very worried for health of his Aturn but also it seemed that he was even more worried while looking at the direction they were fleeing. That of cause fueled Bastyn’s paranoia. He approached Vestur with suggestion to watch not only far in horizon but also to keep an eye on sea and sky. Vestur seemed to not understood the warning and thought that it was only a joke. And finally expressed his worries aloud. “It is very strange that no one is pursuing us.” Vestur actually did not receive the reaction he expected as Bastyn suddenly lost his interest and focused all his attention to dolphins that were following the ship. Those poor harmless creatures where seemed as vicious spies in paranoid eyes.

At the same time ship’s crew without any instructions organized and built a big tent on deck. After finishing their work one of them tried to draw an attention of Zalianytha and tried to show to an eagle and tent and saying something in his tongue. The wise Zalianytha soon realized what he wanted and after a brief checking she led her eagle to the tent so it could have at least some shelter on rain if it would be any. A bit calmer Vestur accompanied by one of senior sailors approached Zalianytha informing that unfortunately the ship had no time to prepare for the journey and all they have on deck id some salted fish and some wine. Vestur took an opportunity to express his worries for lack of pursuing from purple queen to Zalianytha. Deva did not also give much of the thought to the warning.

After observing suspicious dolphins for a while Bastyn decided to visit Aturn‘s sick bed. The ship’s physician always present near Aturn patiently explained that he is stabilized and all he needs is rest while gently pushing Bastyn outside. Bastyn tried to resist and suddenly something unexpected happened. Black tentacles shot from Bastyn mouth towards the physician who immediately fell showing no signs of life. Bastyn shouted for the help and retreated to the corner of the room in fear. The first to enter through the door was Padme. She ignored the corpse of physician and ran straight to Aturn checking if the prince is alright. Only after being sure that no harm was done to prince she turned to the physician who was beyond of any help.
Other people were gathering there in prince’s bedroom. Vestur looked like on the edge of despair. “I told that we going to have problems, we need to gather everyone in one place, no one should stay alone. We all going to die”. While Vestur was panicking Padme carefully approached Bastyn and in his native tongue of forgotten language shared her suspicion of the real reason of physician’s death to which Bastyn just have to confirm in guilt. And he asked to have him isolated for the sake of all safety. And so in all this chaos Padme took everything into her hands and first told Bastyn to isolate herself and calmed down Vestur revealing the secret that it was actually Bastyn’s fault that physician died not the pursuers.

Bastyn on his way out briefly met Esteva coming to check on Aturn. She silently glanced on the prince. She shortly just asked Padme if she needs anything to know and after receiving a short negative answer moved out to meet Rakshavyada who was finally was enjoying solitary. Rakshavyada looked a bit annoyed on new company joining him and answered Esteva‘s questions shortly and unwillingly until she asked the thing she was most considered about – a question about the prophecy of the end of the world. Rakshavyada told everything with some deep philosophical deepness and light sadness. That the dream has ended. That everything that lasts must sooner or later to end and the one must be happy to see the inevitable end of beauty. The story seemed to draw an attention of Bastyn it seemed it actually drew a bit of his despair away. Esteva asked if there is no way to recreate the moon gate so the world would not perish to which Rakshavyada’s answer was simply “to fight inevitable bring only despair”.

Meanwhile Zalianytha was walking on the deck and felt that she was stepping in some sticky mass. She looked down just to realize that it is blood. The pool was on a very same spot where previously she saw an illusion of snake instead of rope. There was no rope now. A blood track was leading from the pool to the depth of the ship. Zalianytha first of all drew the circle around the pool and went to see where the track leads. She finds the dead physician in prince’s room and gets an idea that this was a vision of this dead. Zalianytha asked Padme if there is culprit of this homicide to which Padme also reveals the secret of Bastyn’s problem. To which Zalianytha decides to bring justice of this misbehaving. Bastyn must take an responsibility on his crime. At first Padme tried to defend Bastyn but soon just lost her patience and went out.

After that Zalianytha found Bastyn and requested to compensate damage for the ship. That he done in taking away the life. Bastyn tried to defend himself but it is never easy to do so against Zalianytha.

In the evening on the same day poor ship’s doctor has been given to the sea. Vestur was the one to say the speech for the dead and it seemed that he was playing along on Padme‘s plan not to spread panic blaming physician’s old age of late thirties and poor condition that took his precious life away. After that everyone went to rest for the day.

The night was not calm for Padme who was waken up by sweet smell of blood coming from the ship’s kitchen. There she found cook chopping the meat, the real meat here in the middle of the sea. It was not difficult for Padme to realize that the meat previously belonged to some poor human. The cook talked with Padme in fluent Devanagari and wasn’t really showing respect that was so common from everyone else. A sharp mind of Padme quickly identified the real identity of the cook. It was none other than Atis – the demon that has a contract with Rakshavyada. He explained that he prepares some meat for Zalianytha‘s eagle. and requested that Rakshavyada would be summoned. For that Padme just asked for a piece of flesh and send the message to Rakshavyada. Rakshavyada visited Ati’s new mask and just asked him to avoid problems and have the kills only once in three days. Ati himself seemed to be pleased to have finally a journey in such a nice ship. Rakshavyada was starting to realize that Ati requires not only the journey itself but something additionally and very sinister.

And so the days flows while the ships sails. A few days later in the night Zalianytha was woken up by some voices. She went outside her room to listen for where the source of the noise comes from. And she hears whispering conversation from the room of Aturn. She opened the door to find it empty, just a lying prince in his bed. She would just leave everything as it is but she suddenly spotted the rope next to the bed. When she came to check it the rope suddenly turned to snake and then to humanoid snake like creature that immediately attacked brave Zalianytha. She tried to defend herself with candlestick. But unfortunately assassin’s strikes were very quick and accurate. Deva called for help to which the first to respond was guard outside the room. As soon as he entered the assassin spit something straight to guards eyes and killed him in agonizing pain. When it seemed that all hopes of Zalianytha were lost Padme ran in to the room and jumped to the help of Zalianytha. That was enough to defeat the assassin. Padme nailed him to the floor with the sword to make sure it won’t run away. Then came others. Esteva, Vestur, Rakshavyada and other guards. Vestur was once again panicking to which Esteva in very calm voice reassured that she is sure that the assassin is dead even if he had been immortal or mage. Rakshavyada removed everything from the assassin that had any patterns: a tooth, a ring and a dagger. In looting the body he accidentally killed a spider which seemed to belong to Esteva as she gasped in pain. After removing artifact Rakshavyada dragged the body on the deck. away from the prince and place where it could make it some harm.
Zalianytha in pain and in the pool of her own blood was silently trying to say for all this chaos, that she actually heard a whisper but it seems no one was listening. All around was rising fear chaos and panic.
Vestur in the chaos approached prince’s bed and whispered something to him, he whispered something back. Looks like no one but Vestur realized that Aturn is no longer in coma.

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The game master skipped the session

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Meanwhile, devas where looking at frozen time wondering, what have just happened, the worst thing is that themselves could not move a muscle. Is it a dream, a death, apocalypse? In either way they expected it happening with a lot of more fireworks…. Frozen time, pff it is totally a lot more worse ending then conventional hell.

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The treason of the Purple Queen

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Little hunt trip had passed with great success. Bastyn has closely followed the prince and was analysing actions, thinking patterns… of this young nobleman. He still had strong doubts to pass immortality gift to Aturn. He wanted to reveal the elegance of immortality, but reserved that lesson for another time. Travellers even managed to get back up to the palace for dinner. Aturn did not showed in that evening no more. After the diner crew members did go to their rooms. Lers was waiting for Zalyanitha beside her apartments and provoking the nearby guards. The stableman looks a little confused and in the hands of a strong grip he holds small book. The book’s cover coated with the winged horses and named as „Songs of the wind“. Texts had been written in devani, but by humans. Lers wants to bestow this book to Zalyanitha, but timidly asks to ride with her’s eagle. Deva agrees only to give a fly to him. The man agrees without any hesitate. The two of them headed back to the park where eagles are stored. The stableman securely attached to the saddle by deva. Zalyanitha shoots the eagle to the sky… Lers shouting in excitement upon landing on the ground what makes pay attention to the Bayrage. The girl curiously overlooking a male even asks deva if she can take out this men for marriage. Zalyanitha explains to her that he is one of the Purple Queen’s husbands. Deva asked the stableman if he would want to set up the museum, but the collector does not understand what she have in mind.

At that time, Bastyn at the door of his room heard the altercation. Judging from the voice Aturn is involved in quarrel. Merchant put his head out of the room and eases guards standing there. He invited the prince into his apartment. He reports that in the palace is one man who may know where to get the bee venom. Bastyn and Aturn headed back to the library. The prince asks how many years has Bastyn, but the merchant gets away from this issue. In the library the prince takes conversation with one of the librarians. Man accompanied them toward to the mysterious door. Walking towards the door of the mysterious Bastyn noticed that this little part of the library is used seldom: loaded with dusty books and perishable papyruses… Immortal with big caution has entered the room behind the door. After a few minutes, Bastyn finds out that the room is residented by an old and blinded magician. Merchant has heard many rumors about this certain sorcerer. This man asks his heart as payment for the information where he can get a drop of bee venom. Bastyn asked for time to consider his proposal. The old man agrees to wait until morning.

In the evening, all crew members are spread to their rooms.

In the next morning, all travellers ar awaken by some strange sound radiated through the window. Bastyn sees the crystal tower when he looked out of the window. After a few minutes it starts to crumble to pieces. At that time, merchant had heard uproar at the door. It turns out that Vestur wishes to announce that the Purple Queen issued them to the Emperor. Immortal merchant attracted towards Padme apartments without any delay. Of course, he borrows a sword from a one of the guards. Padme hurriedly rolls up in a sari and moves toward Zalyanitha room. At that time, deva of justice heard the voice of the prince at the door, she calmly take pride in their things unto. The door to the uproar broke out in fight, during which Aturn is fatally injured. Zalyanitha herself calmly through the window perch on the eagle’s and aside from the palace. Bastyn and Padme appears at the door of sees Zalyanitha flabby body of the prince. Merchant hurriedly walks into the room of deva, but does not find her in place. Bastyn ran to the window and sees flying eagle (with Zalyanitha) in the sky. He informs her that Rakshavyada should be warned about the threat of the Purple Qeen. Prince’s life is fading from his body. Padme and Bastyn with drugs help are distancing the death moment of the nobleman. His body is attached to the back of merchant. Group rush towards to the rest of the eagle, but sees that big bird is not the place. This fact does not prevent them get out beyond the walls of the palace.

Zalyanitha gets down to the smithy. Deva tears down a dead-end wall around the building.She wants to warn Rakshavyada what it’s time to get out of the city, but deva affected by poppy do not realize what’s going on around. Zalyanitha without any hesitation states command to the eagle to grabb the man with claws. Hunter just yet firmly arrested the sword blade and the hammer in his both hands. She brought friend to the ship. Zalyanitha immediately flies to help Bayrage to chase the guards from Padme and Bastyn. They hastily descend down from the elevator constructions and soldiers firing arrows to them. The all crew members without ultimately troubles successfully reaching the ship.

Padme and Bastyn are ready for surgery of the prince. Of course, the merchant was chased out of the procedure by nobleman doctor himself… Padme was able to save the life of Aturn.

It turns out that Bayrage has usurped the one of the Purpule Queen husbands – Lers. Warrior faces are radiant with joy again. She announces that he wants to leave the travellers.

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Promised reunion

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From the early morning Bayrage bleeds to Padme her insecurities about her married life – it makes Padme very grumpy and ready to dump Bayrage at first opportunity. Deva is in hopeless situation – she cannot run away from her friend, because needs to learn everything about the eagle handling, and the only one who can provide the knowledge is Bayrage.

-X-

Meanwhile Bastyn went out to the city (with abundant train of guards and retinue) – he had an idea to go out of the city through the labyrinth. His assigned guide Ilai is very nervous and tries to persuade Bastyn to come back, but the immortal is set to find the place for his chanting ritual, so does as he pleases – finds the spot and sends off his companions.
Zalyanitha spends her morning chatting with Irase about the mounts (I mean riding animals) and how devas killed off last of them. Here Zalyanitha remembers her vision of procession (refer: Dreams and visions)

-X-

After somehow escaping Bayrage, Padme spends her time in library researching Maruvarsa. In some sources he is referred as magician in other as deva, but the data is not consistent. Deva finds descriptions of his body parts that are left behind (the shamans into three split his pattern): tongue that lets to speak/understand the languages, eye that sees the essence of things and hand that turns anything into gold. Also she finds approx places of these parts and adds them to her future plans. Padme researches her artifacts a little and finds data on her spear, she curses a lot to herself that the spear actually was so close to her, but somehow she did not manage to get it (and she cannot remember that there was even a talk about the tree with an eternal spring at its roots). Location of the tree deva also adds to her plans.

At some point one of the library scholars brings Padme book “Juvalaka kam Adjadmatr” (eng.: “Perfect city” by Radiant Creator of the Order) – Heavenly Aegis remembers that this deva is one of the Zalyanithas teachers, so she summons her friend. Between the books pages there is a note from Aturn that he wants to meet them.

-X-

Demon demands the payment from Bastyn – he makes some excuses and his finger falls off…
After this episode immortal checks on the blacksmiths that mend Rakshavyadas sword – they are still alive, there is still sound of hammers at the forge.

-X-

Devas and companion visits prince Aturn. Here after lots of courtesy Padme recites some lines from the “Juvalaka kam Adjadmatr” as if hinting that prince is endorses these thoughts and is willing to make them into the reality, so she hopes that the prince is left with the notion, that devas support him. Prince presents party with various rare gifts and delicacies from his trip (sadly Bastyn sees that on majority of the items prince was scammed by merchants – stuff is not so exclusive and there are counterfeit goods). Padme tells the story of their journey (omitting some parts) to prince. Aturn trolls Bastyn a little on topic of “the immortal who was brave man to come to the Empire”.
Padme leaves first – she needs to continue her lessons with Bayrage, so Zalyanitha is left with the prince and discusses some political-marital matters and the riding animals (somehow she took a deep interest in that). At some point Vestur comes, complaining that he was forbidden to take book out of the library. Scholar trolls Bastyn with same as prince and greets devas. Crimson prince invites devas to the dolphin hunt in the morning.

So here Zalyanitha returns to Irase and they discuss the animals further, Bastyn manages Padmes help for the blacksmiths – she quickly fixes the men and as soon as Bastyn begins to leak tentacles from his mouth , deva kick him out of the forge pointing “the trouble out of his mouth”.

-X-

Next morning company happily engage in the hunt. It is truly extreme sport so devas and Bastyn enjoy themselves (Bastyn enjoys main sail mast the most). At some point Aturn asks if devas remember poem of the plum tree. He promises fast ship with crew and everything if they would travel together to Sorcerers gate and that it would be helpful to all of them.

-X-

Rakshavyada has closed himself in the forgery with two smiths with no lights form outside with nothing else but things needed for forgery and drugs needed for ritual. All three began to melt the needle stone, making a head of maul and drink milk of white poppy. Very soon deva realized the effects of the drugs were helping to avoid poisonous effect of needle stone. Monotonous striking with hammers, the heat and drugs affected all of participants in to trance like state. There was nothing else around the world, just heat from the forge-fire and striking of three hammers. Rakshavyada could feel himself drifting to his dream world with mirrors and forests. Suddenly deva realized that there are no longer only three hammers, there are already four of them. At first Rakshavyada was watching the new smith trying to keep up with hammering rhythm. Then he carefully engaged a conversation.

The new smith’s name was Bahulatadan. He told he came because being summoned and for the request of Rakshavyada to reforge Adhi he asked to merge with deva. He promised that together Rakshavyada would be stronger and they being one would be unbeatable. Rakshavyada refused to merge but promised to serve him as he serves deva as maul. They had the long discussion on how Bahulatadan will serve and after reaching agreement Rakshavyada felt won more they began on recreating Adhi.

After more smith work Adhi finally returned. At first she was displeased that her creator did not merged with Rakshavyada. Raksha just smiled and ignored cutting her and asking if she wants to get back to the world or not. Her response was she would serve Rakshavyada only if he never looses Bahulatadan. The ritual ended, the sword was reforged and the maul was created. Mortal smiths were alive, one of them just barely. So deva dragged them out to the fresh air. Rakshavyada felt himself victorious, he made this difficult task given by Adhi and was burdened by two demons as servants he will need to serve from now on.

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Surprising visitors
Crimson sails in the horizon

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After the Hall of truth, everyone went back to their usual activities: some went to the library, some rested, Padme got involved into Bairage’s bridal activities. Soon Rakshavyada was preparing for the ritual: found two smiths and gathered other required items. Bastyn knew about the toxic substances, required for the ritual, and was concerned about the lives of the mortal smiths, so he went to the silver-space to seek help. One demon agreed to protect the lives of those smiths for 3 days, and, in return, Bastyn agreed to hurt the first person he sees, and that person should not know why.

x-x-x

The Voice of the Queen showed up again. He wanted to invite everyone to dine with the queen again. Zalyanitha said, that some of them would be busy for the following 3 days, so he promised to ask again then.

x-x-x

There was some co-motion at the harbour. All the buzz was because of the arrival of an extraordinary ship. The crimson sails gave away that it was prince Aturn’s ship. You could even see some of his staff, like Vestur. There was a strange sound of thunder and smoke coming from the ship when he was entering the harbor, for now the origin of this was a mystery.

x-x-x

Zalyanitha went to the marketplace looking for new travel clothing. She was redirected to the town’s square. There was a boutique with exceptionally professional service and artisans were really masterful. She also had a saddle and harness mended. She was busy all afternoon giving instructions to craftsmen. The retinue arranged the payment for the merchant.

x-x-x

Bastyn told Zalyanitha that there is someone that wants so meet her. Turns out it was his demon. They agree to go to silver-space together and after a while were in their own wardens but did not meet. Zalyanitha talks to Chandrakridalu and expresses her doubts about it. He gets alarmed about it and discourages her from pursuing further that idea. Talking on the different subject he says that shimmers have a deeper knowledge of the silver-space that any deva or mage.

Later on Bastyn tells her that there is a way to get into silver-space directly, but it requires certain substances which is difficult to acquire, but he promised to try to get a hold on this.

x-x-x

After a while Esteva finds Zalyanitha in the palace. She says she needs to talk so her somewhere private. Zalyanitha agrees, even though, a pleasant companion Lers offered to show her ancient tapestries of horses (she postpones the review of tapestries for an hour).
Esteva brings her to a shrine and tells her about a request from prince: he asks to assist him in a very dangerous journey where he needs a escort from devas. Esteva brings Zalyanitha to one of the meditation niches to explain the request in detail. She also removes her eye-band in order to express her trust. She says that Prince wants to become immortal in the same way that Bastyn is. And being immortal he could reform the world with a help of devas into a new future. Zalyanitha tells her that the new future is uncertain since new processes have already started and new forces of destruction emerges (she mentions the worm bits of Rakshanyada). After a short pause Esteva says that in the enlightenment of these new facts it becomes even more important to pursue this quest and the Council of Five will help devas in any way they can. Zalyanitha shows her interest and tells her that these matters are to be discussed with her other companions, and that she understands the importance of this issue, although she is concerned with the quality of expertise required for this sort of quest.

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Hall of truth

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The group spent most of the day in the library. Each of them wants to find answers to their questions, but Padme does not have wilful courage to spend time among dusty books. She drew a walk in the palace and finds Bayrage. Eagle rider asks deva to be assisted to choose a husband. Deva agrees without hesitation. Bayrage grabs for Padme‘s saris and drags her towards to the city. Castle guards does nor leave the girls alone and accompanied them to the city. Ladies stroll with a light meal of fried dolphin meat. At last, they comes to the warship. Bayrage shows white hair soldier on board. Eagle rider praises his white hair and think that white haired children would quite beautiful, but she does worry that these kind of children will not be accepted by her tribe. Deva soothe her and proposes to create a tribe here. The girl adopted Padme’s suggestion. Bayrage also shows another man chosen by her. The name of the chosen man is Ivarin. Ivarin by his craft is fisherman. Sturdily built man on the arm has a number of scars. Bayrage is admired of his strength. Padme talks to fisherman, but Ivarin does not understand the ladies hints about brothels. She bestows him one of his rings at the end of the interview. Once more time the fisherman does not understand lady’s intention, but politely suggested not to visit such places. Bayrage would like to have both men, but Padme advises her not to be such a greedy. Besides, the soldiers said that only the queen can have so many means as much as she wants. Padme proposes to throw a coin and in that way to make call to one man. Zalyanitha approaches the girls while they debated whether or not it should be throw a coin. Deva of justice attend about what they speak and Bayrage explained that it is difficult to choose a husband. Padme describes each of them. Bayrage wants a strong, loyal and healthy man to her husband. Zalyanitha proposed to carry out trials of both men and eagle should be involved in the test. This idea really captivates Bayrage. Padme requested that the two men would be brought to the palace to the trial.

Men in the library took more time (until morning) than girls Bastyn read a large part of two millennia period of religious information in this continent, but did not find any useful information only that he renewed overlooked facts. Zalyanitha beckoned how to operate magic without the use of artefacts (shimmers). She reads a lot of material about how people stole magic from the devas and spliced the silver moon, about the changes in the magic of their time. Material is confusing as far as it will take a few days until all the meanings will arrange in the place. Rakshavyada wants to find information about Adi and Ati, but at first he wants to find some knowledge regarding Unmandin, but finds distorted material on this city. After few hours of reading librarians approaches to the deva and presents him a strange puzzle game. They also said that this is one of the stone Unmandino wall. Yet it is called differently as Blackstone of Unmandin. Poem is discharged on the stone about The Mad God. This poem can be read in five different ways. Towards the morning Rakshavyada finds that there is not just a stone, but the whole puzzle.

In the morning, the entire group met to have breakfast. Voice of the queen announces that purple Queen keeps her promise given to travelers and gifts awaits in their apartments. [[:Bastyn | Bastyn]] finds a middle aged man his chamber. A man presents himself as Warun Tiar. He looks a bit confused to Bastyn. The long-living merchant called him for a walk in the palace, and talk about life of him. Not long after, Bastyn finds out that this man is his son. After a few minutes of polite conversation he accompanies guest out of the palace. Concerns appear on long-living merchant face. Queen knows who he is, but what part of the information she has about the merchant. Simply, Bastyn remain curious and he went back to the art to find out this knowledge. The sky stone was delivered to Rakshavyada apartments, but this fact does not stops him to go to the library to lay out the puzzle box.

Piecing together the puzzle Rakshavyada learns about the sleeping god in the black basalt throne and protecting the kingdom which people went crazy. Deva minimally explains to the local magicans about his finds. Soon it boils a hard discussion about the facts revealed by deva. Most of the books tells very different perspective of Unmandin. Zalyanitha struggling to search for how to do magic without the aid of shimmer, but even more intertwined in her quest. Anyway, deva learns about the times when the world is ruled by magicians and it called as „Wizard kings era“. In those days, shimmers rebelled against their masters and forever changed the sky, the earth, relationship of human beings to the gods and much more. Bastyn finds a sufficiently accurate notes how emperor divides his apples to most of his successors. It turned out that the apple tree demon eat virgin blood at rate of three girls per day. Merchant had not noticed that the queen uses these apples. Rakshavyada learns about Ati. This demon is also known as Izudamaka – shape shifting patron of madman.

Padme and Bayrage starts the tests for the both grooms at early morning. The eagle stands in the castle garden solemnly decorated with colored ribbons and lots of bells. Chime sound put deva to short nirvana… After an inspirational speech by Padme, the groom one by one is planted on the eagle and flown around the city bridge. The fisherman already have wife. Deva wants to give Irvan a chance to get away from this obligation by saying to Bayrage that this man can not have children. Unfortunately, the white haired man does not pass the test: he lost conscious during the flight, besides he was convulsed by a large tremor when the eagle has landed on the ground. Such behavior does not captivates Bayrage heart at all. Irvan succeeded much better. Bayrage remains in deep meditation in which men to choose to her’s spouses. Zalyanitha advises to hold the test in the race with dolphins. The castle soldiers quickly organizing the race. The sufficiently large group of townspeople came to a event. Racing had been won by the tangled local resident which does not even know what prize he would won. Irvan took second place. White hired man did not finish the race. Finally, Bayrage choose Irvan as future husband.

After dinner, the travellers had been invited to the hall of truth. The travellers had to take some longer corridors hidden under the dark curtains. At last, crew reach the room with a pool in it’s centre. Here they have been washed and clothed with white tunics. From there, a group are moving independently toward to the hall of truth. They entered the room which floor is equipped with a huge mirror. The room walls have a large number of niches covered with curtains. The city aristocracy already waiting for the advent of crew. Townspeople are asking a variety of questions to devas. Rakshavyada reveals that this world comes to end.

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The Queen of Purple Bay

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The feast in luxurious palace of Purple Bay was finally over. The honorable guests were escorted to their rooms that were as fancy as the dinner itself. It was divided in two with silk curtains. An area of sleeping and a place for having some food – fruits and snacks and place for washing up.
Rakshavyada and Bastyn were accompanied by slave girls to their apartments. Zalyanitha, Padme and Bairage each got a golden key. Which were from some man-slaves with silver golden belts with a lock. It seemed that only Rakshavyada used provided slaves for the reason they were provided. Zalyanitha cared more about eagles and how they are doing rather than enjoying fun with golden key. Padme was more strict and send off all the locked golden boys requiring some privacy to take a bath. She was actually advised to use a bath chambers of the palace rather then that little thing in her room. Bastyn felt really uncomfortable with his concubine-slaves and after a few uncomfortable moments of confused slaves and him checking all the possible spy holes in his room, Bastyn asked for permission to explore the palace.
In Zalyanitha‘s surprise eagles were taken care off. They were sheltered and had their own place to stay. She noticed that guards of the place are keeping the distance from the eagle’s shelters, meaning that taking care went not without any accidents. Zalyanitha approached one of the guards with a question if the eagles are fed. The response was given from behind her back: “guards are forbidden to talk in this palace”. The owner of the voice was quite a handsome man by the name of Lers. He claimed to be a husband of the queen as well as royal stableman. He politely asked what food would be proper for these noble beasts. And as soon as Zalyanitha tells eagle’s feeding habits Lers kindly asks to wait for some time and immediately sprints off to take care of the eagles.
Meanwhile Padme took a glance to the bath chambers of the palace. This was a huge place. Silk curtains divided the chamber into male and female parts. The luxury of the chambers was suited for whole palace. She had a bath with all massages and oils and even the water in the bath was pleasantly warm to touch. Padme while enjoying herself began a conversation with one of the male visitors of the chambers. The man introduced himself as once been “Irase-va-Musuril”, now he is queens concubine of rank one. Padme asked him carefully if it is possible to talk privately with him, which he immediately executed asking everyone out of the chambers. Naturally Padme was impressed by the power the influence the man possessed. He explained that this is not the influence of him it is the presence of her which have a power in here.
Bastyn was far from alone leaving his room for exploring the palace. There were at least twelve people following him. There were guards servants to carry the food or drinks or anything that could be requested by the honorable guest. Bastyn after a bit of exploration with an army following him finally settled down in the royal library. He checked various manuscripts in trying to mislead those who might be interested but his main goal was to find the manuscript on his bound demons. In his studies he found out that people used to worship a dark god in this area. From the description it seemed that he was more like some kind of demon.
Zalyanitha was walking through the very beautiful garden while she was waiting for Lers to return. The garden was constantly looked after. Even the grass where Zalyanitha stepped was immediately straighten up. She reached the cliff all covered by bindweed with an outstanding view in to the far. Only a polite voice of Lers draws Zalyanitha’s attention off. Lers was holding the bottle of wine and a couple of glasses inviting her to spend an evening here in the garden. Lers appeared to be a very interesting companion to keep a conversation. At first Zalyanitha was more interested on laws and customs of this region. Lers told that the real power of the law in the city belongs to the court of merchants. Queen has honorable name. In case of danger half of the army is commanded by the queen and half of it hears merchants orders. The customs of the queen court was even more interesting. It used to be the huge tests and trials for the man willing to become husband of the queen. Some are the best warriors defeating everyone else, some of them are bravest adventures bringing the most exotic gifts for queen and yet the newest 104th husband, a red prince Aturn got his privilege without any trials, therefore he is least honorable of the others. But in this way an alliance was formed with Red Empire, while relationship with Free Port has suffered. Zalyanitha asked if queen can actually take a woman for her husband. The question took Lers unaware, he never thought of the possibility but he explained that husbands of the queen might be allowed to have their concubines. Usually the husbands gets some important role here in the palace. Then Zalyanitha asked to tell something about his role as stableman. This seemed to be more attractive topic for Lers, he was especially fascinated on horses, he shared rumors that only Red Emperor has his last horse in his stable. So they chatted for the rest of the evening untill it became chilly and the wine was over. So they parted to their rooms to have the night rest.
Padme in the bath-chambers was also asking on customs of the Purple Bay. The rank one male-concubine told that the Queen takes male-concubines as not necessary for sex but as higher rank servants of the palace. Male-concubines are usually from non-noble families. Unlike husbands, male-concubines are in constant danger because of the competition, intrigues and strict rules which violation commonly punished by death. Padme once again weaved stupid customs in to cruel but subtle joke. She expressed disappointment for male-concubine not able to spend the night with non other than the Queen and playing disappointed left bath-chamber for her room.
When Bastyn was back from the library studies to his apartment he was absolutely not in the mood to use his concubine-slaves. He chose rather to meditate keeping his alertness on. Poor slave girls were once again lost and confused, one was actually offering him to ask some other girls that would suit more for his taste. This was naturally declined. After some time there was a visitor in his room. This was a lady in transparent clothes she was all covered in honey and golden and silver dusts. The mysterious visitor was not too pretty of the face had a square chin and had short hair. As soon as she was spotted by vigilant Bastyn she ordered slave-concubines to leave the room immediately. Slaves tried to express some protests but eventually left the room. Then she sat on the ground in front of Bastyn and she spoke to him: “My lord, let me express the excitement to finally use opportunity that could happen not only once per lifetime but once per millennium. To meet such a noble and heavenly creature as deva. Are the stories true, that semen of deva can bless any women with fertility?”, Bastyn replied shortly and simply “Yes”. And the mysterious woman begged human merchant “please accept a sacrifice of the mortal woman and bless me”. And that is how Bastyn took his nightly pleasure in the palace of Purple Bay.

The earliest morning starts for Bastyn. He was woken up by some whispers of and hushed noises in his room. It was some supervisor of the slaves trying to organize as silently as possible removing the suffocated slave-concubines corpses out of Bastyn‘s room. As soon as they realized that Bastyn is actually awake they were extremely terrified. Bastyn just went by the window pretending that he hasn’t noticed any activities in his room allowing people safely to finish their work.
All the honorable guests meet near the breakfast table. They had some light food that was still more luxurious than anything devas eaten in thousands of years. The breakfast was finished by the Voice of the Queen inviting honorable guests for special entertainment of the palace.
Bastyn soon noticed that guards are changed and they all look with a fear towards him. The group was led to amphitheater where they got balcony in prestigious place. The first entertainment was opera about hero Sifor and his archenemy pirate Klad le sik. He lost over the fight for honor and in final act he killed the pirate painting the butaforic sea in red and wed the Queen. The second entertainment was gladiators’ fight. One group was in colors of Free Port and others from Purple Bay. Naturally ‘home’ team won all the fights. Second gladiators fight was against a crocodile. The third was public execution of some woman. The very same woman that secretly visited Bastyn at night. He masterfully hid that he actually knew the woman. Others were just watching execution without any questions on reasons of the execution. The woman seemed to had some torture before the execution. She was tied and her face was swollen from beating. Executor was one of the gladiators who raped and beat before actually killing her.
Before announcing the final entertainment The Voice of the Queen visited the lodge of guests inviting anyone to the scene to accept the special gift from the Queen. And suddenly they saw that a member of Adhinavari cult. The poor seemed to be not sure why he is here and expressing his protests against this insolence. While Padme was quick to decline the offer, Rakshavyada accepted the honor with some strange smile.
When he entered the scene the Adhinavari cultist realized why he is here. The guard offered a weapon of choice for Rakshavyada but he chose to fight with bare hands. Rakshavyada attacked.. At first it seemed that the cultist will evade the attack and maybe even successfully organize counter strike. But at the last moment Rakshavyada changed direction of attack and landed a successful blow that knocked the cultist down. Then Rakshavyada approached helpless body and finished him off. At first there was dead silence in the crowed, but then there was a sound of single clapping in one of the lodges. Soon all the crowd began to clap and greet the champion. Rakshavyada just went to nearest fountain and washed his hands.
After leaving the scene he was approached by The Voice of the Queen. He told the hunter that his victory impressed the Queen and he is kindly invited for audience with the Queen personally. Rakshavyada was led to some secret room with thousands of silken curtains. It was impossible to see the Queen in the hall but at least Rakshavyada heard her voice. She congratulated Rakshavyada and promised to meet all the guests during the dinner.
The entertainment lasted four hours in total. after that the rest of the day up till the dinner was free for the guests. Bastyn tried to find out what happened during the night asking the new slave-concubines. Unfortunately both of the girls did not know anything on what happened there.
It was time for the dinner. The food was not disappointing once again. Only Padme asked something more raw and with blood. In response chefs were led on their knees in front of Padme apologizing that the lady did not liked their food. Padme explained that she liked the food but she just wanted something different. At the time for dessert the Queen herself joined the guests. She was good looking woman covered with golden and silver dusts also she was also covered with Devanagari patterns. She looked not young but also the one could not call her old. The huge bowl was brought immediately after her. She took some goblets and filled them with the liquid from the bowl and gave the goblet for each of the guests. Padme and Bastyn did not dare to drink that. The Queen waited for a while and then addressed the guest in good Devanagari. She greeted them in her city and to show the gratitude for devas to come to her she offered anything they want from her. At first no one dare to speak their mind, only Padme whispered Zalyanitha on question on Bairage’s destiny. The Queen encouraged to speak their mind. And then it began. Padme asked for place for Bairage in the city so she could live the rest of her life. Zalyanitha asked for moonsilver. Rakshavyada asked for ingredients to recreate Adi. Also everyone of devas asked access to the royal library. Bastyn was the only one who asked nothing and just asked to let him think on what he wanted. The Queen promised to grand all the wishes of the guests no matter how much it will cost but in exchange she kindly asked to give her honor and visit the hall of truth. Devas agreed to that light-willingly. Only Bastyn was very concerned and worried about this.
The Queen said her farewells and just before leaving the dining room she turned around and apologized Bastyn on events that happened during the night. And then she left.

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Crimson feast

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The beast lands in a port with a big flash bang and disperses into pieces. The rider shows up. He is wearing finest garments and lots of jewelry. He approaches the devas and brings greetings from the queen of Crimson Harbour. The royal messenger also invites them to visit Crimson Harbour and the queen and promises protection from all orders of mages. After a brief discussion devas agree to visit the queen, and, in disappointment their owl-companion leaves them since she does not find this course safe.

They tell of their new plans to the captain and at first she is puzzled but later agrees in a condition that the price is set and non-negotiable.

On their way to Crimson Harbour Rakshavyada and Bastyn explore the silver-space and each other’s consciousness. Where Rakshavyada notices two demons bonded to Bastyn, the savant managed to decipher one of them, and after they wake up, Bastyn and Rakshavyada, with the help of knowledge of the first and savant mind of second they deviced plan how to get to the knowledge locked in the demon.

Upon the arrival at their destination they are greeted by an emissary and asked to follow. They inquire the captain about her whereabouts and planned duration of stay and agree to continue the voyage the day after tomorrow.

They pass through the town in a buzz of curious citizens. The party is amazed by the gorgeous garden and inside there was a festivity going. The impression was that the queen intended to show off the luxury she was having: the guests even got some gifts, including jewelry. There was also delightful feast with extraordinary dishes and some ceremonial apportioning.

After the feast a eunuch entered a room. He had a peculiar look: he was nude and covered in silver and gold dust. He presented himself as the “mouth of the queen” and announced that the queen is ready for them.

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Master from the depths of the ocean

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Evening was quite uneventful – Zalyanitha got her clothes from tailor and went on to mind her business. Other party members chilled around – Padme took the bath, Bastyn was busy with his appearance – he wanted to put some camouflage by means of his hairdo and beard – ho did himself to look a little bit like local resident. Later he came into Padme room to discuss journey plans.

-X-

Meanwhile Rakshavyada woke up at the ship finding little dog in his rags, he was little surprised about the fuss around him – it’s like he is constantly watched by people. It was not nice. Rakshavyada asked random guy for some food and got it with a great haste, so he fed the doggy and himself, then went back to the prow to sit and contemplate his savant ways.

-X-

After some time crowd with torches approached the harbor – they were shouting “Gudha Saritavat! One who takes and gives the lives! Ruler at the depths of the ocean!” and stuff like that. There was a little confrontation between the crown and harbor guards (harbor guars got their assess kicked a little, some even fell into the water) – as Pas and Bastyn were in the room facing the harbor they watched the action from afar. Rakshavyada went onto the ramp to check out what it is about.

One from the crowd clearly was a priest (and it looks like by his appearance his priestly garbs were similar to Rakshavyadas). The priest tried to mediate between Rakshavyada and crowd; he could speak vulgar devani a little. All the people asked were things one would ask of the god – to bring back drowned brother, to take sickly child one cheeky Bastyntard even asked for the treasure ship to be retrieved from the ocean floor – Rakshavyada answered them as diplomatic as he could giving and promising nothing. At that point, crowd felt dissatisfied, but not directly with their living god, but with the priest – they named him stupid asshole who cannot communicate their needs to god and pushed him from the pier. At a time additional harbor guards came, crowd dispersed – Rakshavyada was offered protection by the guards, and was assigned a young attendant form the midst of them.

As Padme watched she decided to screw a little about priests head, so deva took Bastyn and they went to look where the priest was washed ashore. They found hapless Bastyntard sitting on the stairs rising from the water. “Mages” began to discuss priest (loudly that he could hear too) “is this one worthy?” “nah, maybe no, he cannot stand in the face of Gudha Saritavat”, later two pranksters introduced themselves as “Voice of Gudha Saritavat” (Padme) and “Mind of Gudha Saritavat” (Bastyn) – they even thought that if need arises Zasl would be “Conscience of Gudha Saritavat”, but kept it to themselves. Priest tried to get some proof of godly power/holy item, but the two declared that ones who need proof are not worthy. Although Bastyn gave a knick-knack to the priest. Later they (minus the priest) went to the ruins of the temple: Bastyn explained the ways of magic in this “new” world and Padme boasted of her past might and glory – thus the morning came.

-X-

In the morning Bastyn went on and conducted sale of the ship – it later caused some anxiety to Bastyn, because merchant who bought it came back and gave additional bag of money for “wonderful ship”, Bastyn even thought that they left something valuable behind. Rakshavyada had yet another encounter with his worshipers, so he gave his puppy to Padme and plunged himself into the ocean – quite a good way for the “Gudha Saritavat” to depart.

Party embarked onto the ship “Compassion”, it belongs to the captain-gal Airet Preen, the one Zalyanitha met at the whorehouse. They set course to the Free port as a place to regroup and think about the further plans.

The moment ship sets sails to it’s journey party sees a flying snake in the sky – at that moment Padme commands to Bayrage take the eagle and if it will be necessary – flee.

Beast approaches…

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The Point

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People hurriedly climbed into the galley. The fear reflects on the people faces. Their eyes look to the side of the shore, which is full of sea creatures. Two solders wake them up out of fear and take to lead the crew. Several enhanced orders echo over the ship and it moves away from the shore, but gently crashed into a nearby ship. Enchanted orders echo over the ship once more and ship awkwardly sails away from shore. Bastyn pretends to be an officer and persuades the crew to swim to nearby aground ship to take few foods stocks. Padme chooses a couple of people to help collect the food to the boat. Zalyanitha with the eagle rises to the sky to look around and protect Padme’s crew from attacks of the sea creatures. Deva of justice noticed a considerable shadow in the water after a few moments of flight and warns Padme’s crew about the danger near grounded ship. The people in the boat turn back to the ship without any delay. Female scream diffuses in the ship. Bastyn runs the oars deck to clarify the situation. Rowers hurriedly leave the room. Commenting on the sea creature got into the galley and took the one of the woman rowers. Bastyn pulls the sword out and goes back into the room, explaining that these things can be overcome by weapon and strong will. Merchant does not defeated the black sagebrush in the oars deck. Countless sea creatures boarded the ship. They surrounded the people with Rakshavyada on board in ring shape. The things do not attacking his creator, but watching his actions… Zalyanitha descend on the deck and scare sea creatures. The things make every effort to return to the sea, but deva of justice kills a few of them during the retreat. Padme returns back to the ship with the boat. Padme runs to see how successfully Bastyn defeating the sea creature soon as the boat tied to the ship. After entering the room she notes protruding legs out of the bench. Deva of caring try to move them, but in time she observing danger and fades away. Padme ready to fight… Again, the sea creature wins the engagement. Everything is solved after Zalyanitha’s joins the fight. Eagle rider frees his friends after defeat of black sagebrush.

Padme advantage of the trip days creating a cult of Rakshavyada, explaining that this hunter is one of the reborn gods. The good one… She mentions that all survivors here deserve to live happily ever after.

A few days later the crew reaches The Point – a small port on the protrusion. In the past, it was a big port and was named as Point of the good will. Significant efforts were spent mooring a ship at a marina. People gather around the vessel after berth in the marina. Murmurs of the crowd ripple in the harbor when they discover that Fish Market was attacked and destroyed by sea creatures. One of the soldiers tries to explain to the captain that the great god travels among them. Captain of the guard orders to arrest the entire crew in order to find out what’s going on, but Padme stamp down with her foot. Cascade of thunder ripples in the harbor, after few seconds captain recovered and commanded his men to leave sorceress alone and no more put their noses into magicians affairs ever.

Padme and Bastyn tries to make some money out of resale of silk or cashmere, but all merchants refuse their services. Nevertheless, they get some hot food and drink few cups of wine. One of the slave merchants asking where you can buy a woman like Padme, but found out that she is derived from the remote region – The Serpent’s Pass, only makes him a little bit displeased. Bastyn and Padme walks into clothes shop. The deva wants to make a new sari. Travellers continue to attract to the temple. Deva and merchant finds out that template contains the same map as the temple in the Rough Shelter. Further their research led them to a room full of garbage and bad breath. Padme hear the growl in the dark. Sound echoes from the big and sick hound. The hound tries to protect his puppies, but few accent with the sword and Padme takes down the hound. Deva choose a healthy puppy from the litter, and kills the sick ones. Travellers head back to the pier.

Zalyanitha and Bayrage are walking around the city. It seems that Bayrage examine by wary look every sounder man in the streets. Finally, both of them are coming to the bar to eat ant catch some gossips. „Bull’s balls“ is the name of that bar. Nothing will happen at the inn full of guards? It’s the only reason why deva dropped in this particular tavern, but this idea was not provided by Bayrage itself. Local waitress mentions that there are no „job“ for travellers. Zalyanitha order some hot food. At a time when getting to the end to eat their lunch in the pub came a woman and a man accompanying her. Judging by the clothes and her station that woman was a sailor. Iron weapon testified that she is doing really well in this activity. The visitors of the inn greet her like a full-fledged man. Sailor is surprised by seated girls in that kind of inn. Initiated conversation by voluptuous woman little by little takes more and more fluency by both sides. Sailor mentions that she could take the travellers to the Crimson Bay. „The Compassion“ it’s a name of her ship. Deva thanks for the advices and heads back to the pier.

All friends meet on board. They discuss how to proceed further and decide to sold the ship and go to the Crimson Bay vicinity. On this occasion, they decided to spend the night in a luxury hotel named „Flask and violin“. During dinner the Bastyn overhears that Aturn married purple queen of the Crimson Bay. Friends go to their rooms to rest. The merchant wants to conceal his current appearance by chaining hair colour and style, shaping beard in different way…

Zalyanitha convinces Bastyn to go to town to look for a male robes. Deva wants to cover her feminine body from other eyes. The merchant took her down to the same seamstress where he was with Padme while ago. During the negotiations, tentacles emerges from the mouth of Bastyn. Tailor is immeasurable scared by this event, but Zalyanitha calmed him down by joking that stupid magicians could not manage their demons. Bastyn instructs Zalyanitha all the basics of magic…

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